Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Micron president says DRAM prices have bottomed out


Micron Technology Inc president Mark Adams said prices of computer memory chips have probably hit a low after a slump that caused losses at three of the four largest companies in the industry.

In December, the Boise, Idaho-based company, the only remaining US maker of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), reported its second straight quarterly loss as product prices fell amid slowing personal computer orders.

“I don’t think DRAM goes down from here,” Adams said in an interview ahead of a company analyst day in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It’s starting to feel like a stable market.”

Chipmakers are struggling to match supply with demand in the market for memory in personal computers, where plants take years to come online and cannot be shut down cheaply.

Underlining that, last year industry sales dropped 26 percent to US$29.2 billion, according to an estimate by market researcher Gartner Inc. That followed a 72 percent surge in 2010.

Adams was promoted to company president last week following the death of former chief executive officer Steve Appleton in an airplane accident. Former chief operating officer Mark Durcan has reversed his retirement decision and is taking on Appleton’s position.

The industry is inching closer to Appleton’s vision of a more stable business populated by few producers, Adams said.

Only the Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co, the largest maker of computer memory, which also gets income from mobile phones, flat panel displays and home electronics, has remained profitable.

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